Emanuel Ax Performs Brahms’ First Piano Concerto, June 2-5
Marin Alsop leads regional premiere of BSO co-commission by Argentine-American composer Osvaldo Golijov
Piano legend Emanuel Ax returns to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO), under the direction of BSO Music Director Marin Alsop, in a performance of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 on Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore, Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 5 at 3 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Maestra Alsop will lead the BSO in a delightful tour of the orchestra in Britten’s A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra and will also feature Sidereus, a BSO co-commission by Argentine-American composer Osvaldo Golijov.
Emanuel Ax’s legendary music-making has thrilled audiences for more than 30 years. Among the world’s most sought-after piano virtuosos, the New York Times describes his style as, “a shifting balance of poetry, earthiness and analytical clarity.” He joins the BSO to perform Brahms’ dramatic First Piano Concerto. Brahms performed the work’s challenging solo at its premiere in 1859 in Hanover. Brahms’ listeners were not prepared for the work’s assaulting principal theme and unconventional tonality, after their steady diet of Liszt and Mendelssohn’s charming vehicles of virtuosity.
Opening the concert is Sidereus, an overture for small orchestra by Argentine-American composer Osvaldo Golijov. This piece was commissioned by more than 35 orchestras that comprise the Henry Fogel Commission Consortium. Of Russian-Jewish descent, Golijov’s family escaped the Czarist pograms by immigrating to Argentina when the composer was young. This unique background has helped Golijov find a style that blends Latin rhythms with Yiddish expression, rooted in firm classical training. Sidereus was inspired by Galileo Galilei’s 1610 treatise Sidereus Nuncius, which contains the trail-blazing astronomer’s observations about the galaxy.